Technology is a key propeller for many small businesses. It’s what keeps the playing field even and more competitive. However, technology is evolving, and it will continue to do so even in the future. As such, this continuous evolution of business technology brings major IT challenges for small businesses.
What are these challenges, and how can leaders solve them?
Cyberattacks are on the rise because it’s lucrative. A survey has found that 70% of ransomware victims paid the ransom. Small businesses would rather pay the price than lose all of their important files. Now, if your files were that important in the first place, why not take a proactive approach? Instead of having an “I’ll cross the bridge when I get there” mindset, plan your cybersecurity strategy properly. Make it a priority. Don’t dismiss cybersecurity threats just because you’re “too small” to be a target. Moreover, don’t be lax just because you have the best cybersecurity software.
2. Finding and retaining talent
The massive growth of new technologies isn’t a sign that humans can now be easily replaced. On the contrary, small businesses will be needing a supply of qualified IT professionals with the necessary IT skills. A study has found that even if 75% of businesses have a digital strategy, only 16% have the right skills to deliver it well. 93% of businesses say they’re facing a skills shortage. As such, there really is a need to bridge the IT skills gap while operating at full capacity.
The best way to answer this shortage is to pay a premium for the best talent. But understandably, most small businesses can’t afford this option. To move around this, offer flexibility in location and hours so that you can have access to geographically-distributed talents. You can also look for talents at local universities.
3. Affordable innovation
Let’s be real. Innovation is ideal, but it comes with a hefty price tag most of the time. As such, how will you address urgent challenges with limited resources? Think about what happened during the pandemic. A lot of businesses struggled to adapt not because they don’t want to but because they don’t have the capability. They needed specific solutions but lacked the resources to do them. Business technology is great, but most small businesses are just trying to keep their head above the water. Many don’t have sufficient resources to keep up with the demand.
To solve this, you should implement technologies and processes that let you meet existing demand. You can’t innovate if you have a lot of backlogs. Opt for low-code solutions as they help leaders meet business demands with existing resources.
4. Managing data security and consumer privacy
Data privacy is getting the spotlight it deserves today. Countries are slowly but surely creating legislations to regulate it. This means that strict data privacy regulations will soon become the norm. As such, IT departments can’t afford to have data just floating around unmonitored. Sloppy data security habits have no place today and in the future.
The key takeaway
IT may be difficult to navigate, but you as a leader can be the compass that takes your team in the right direction. It takes careful and extensive planning to do so. We all know that working with limited resources is hard. Small businesses often have other problems to mind and resolve. But with continuous education and modern strategies, small businesses will be able to cope in a rapidly-changing world.